Isabella gets help from Sylvester with water -, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Isabella gets help from Sylvester with water

June 27, 2007

Isabella - - An old problem in Worth County is finally being resolved. For years, people in Isabella have had problems with the water supply. Now, the city of Sylvester will help them out. An agreement between the two cities will benefit both. 

People in Isabella are talking. Faye Calhoun who works at a convenience store hears it all.

"We would not have water at Isabella if a storm came it would knock the water system out because its old, its an old system," she recalls hearing.

What she's heard may be right. The unincorporated town of Isabella created its privately owned water system in 1968. In order to continue meeting government water standards and meet the growing demand for service in the town, Isabella needed a solution.

"Of course, they are our neighbors. they're in a difficult position," says Sylvester Mayor Bill Yearta.

He helped reach an agreement between the city and the Isabella water board. Sylvester will build a new water supply system complete with fire hydrants and larger pipes. It won't cost people in Sylvester a dime.

"The city would not be doing it if it would be any kind of cost to our present customers," Yearta says.

Government grants will help pay for the project and people in Isabella will have to dish out a little more money when the new service begins.

"Everybody knows that from the drought, from everything else that we've seen that's going on, water has to go up like everything else," says Bettye Bozeman with Isabella's water board.

She says the community will be paying for peace of mind.

"They're a bigger entity than we are out at Isabella. If we have some breakdowns or something, then the city of Sylvester will be right there to take care of it."

People like Calhoun will wait and see if it works. She knows one thing for sure.

"We can't live without water."  

Some people in Isabella worry the deal could result in annexation by Sylvester. Betty Bozeman says there's nothing in the agreement to encourage that. But Mayor Yearta says he would consider that idea. The new water system is expected to be up in a year.